I think this year will be OUR BIG WRITING YEAR, lol. (Last year was Our Big Math Year.) My children have some problems with the actual physical act of writing. The 10 (turning 11) yo has outgrown some of these problems on her own. One problem: pencil grip. The 10yo used to hold her pencil wrong. I tried nagging every day, constantly. I tried driving to odd, teacher supply stores and buying expensive pencil grips. And finally, I tried the live-and-let-live method of writing (i.e., ignore it). Ignoring it worked best; now she pinches her pencil between thumb and forefinger, and insists that this is how she's always held her pencil. The 8 (turning 9) yo also has the weird pencil grip (thumb slides all the way up the pencil), but has very little control if I make her pinch her pencil. After some reading, I believe this is a motor issue. She also holds her scissors strangely, which annoys every co-op teacher she's ever had. I'm hoping she is able to strengthen those muscles and hold things correctly in the next year or so.
I found this on HSLDA.org's web site (about writing difficulties):
We went through those tests and found that both kids had to think quite a bit about letter formation. The 10yo has corrected her bottom-to-top writing (she now writes top to bottom - another thing that autocorrected when I finally gave up!) She is still a bit confused about direction of letters. She has replaced all of her reversable letters with capitals, which is not a pretty fix for legible handwriting. We'll be working on that this year!
So - our first goal is to work on legible, quick lettering that doesn't take quite so long to think about. Our second goal is to increase amount of writing, so that we aren't so overwhelmed by having to write.
*I'll write a post later with photos of our pencil grips and samples of our lettering so we can compare at the end of the year.